Knitting pattern · Tutorial · Yarn Reviews

The Strand Blanket · Free Knitting Pattern

Sometimes you’ve just got to stick a dog in a photo, haven’t you? If you’ve been following my antics over on Instagram you’ll have seen that we recently added two puppers to the family – a Golden Retreiver and a GSD cross – and we couldn’t be happier! Obviously I was happy because dogs = extra photo opportunities (joke) but I couldn’t resist grabbing Bob our Golden for a quick pose! Doesn’t she look lovely?

The Strand Blanket.

Designing this blanket alongside the wonderful folks at Marrier Yarns was an absolute joy! They kindly sent me a generous 500g cone of their 4ply acrylic, a couple of balls of their Smooth Touch Cotton Look DK and a colour pack of Midget DK to play about with and design a project with – how cool is that?

I’m a big fan of actylic yarn, but sometimes it’s hard to find decent quality man-made fibres at a good price. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Marriner Yarns are quietly flying the flag of great-value yarn at incredibly small prices. I particularly love the colour selection available, as well as the generous sizes. The 400g cone I used for this blanket is wonderful for large projects and the small 25g balls of Midget are ideal for Amigurimi, granny squares or adding a pop of colour alongisde neutrals – just as I did here with this blanket. I love, love, love these yarns!

Watching the colours change and form stripes as you work is one of those “aahhh”” moments!

The Strand Blanket is a great beginner’s project, ideal for anyone wanting a long-term “pick up, put down” make that is repetitive and calming but also exciting! Watching the colours change as you work is wonderfully satisfying, and the chunkiness means that it’ll work up in no time. You can work as many rows as you like to make any size blanket (my measurements are approximate and my own) so it’s also flexible and versatile. Just cast on more or less stitches as you wish and work for as many rows as you want until you reach your desired size. Easy as pie, no-fuss and pretty, just the way we like it at Emmaknitty. I love the neutral yarn working together with the splashes of bright, punchy shades and of course the squish of garter stitch is always gorgeously cosy. What a dream!

You will need:

  • A cone of Marriner 4ply in a neutral shade (I chose beige);
  • A bumper pack of Midget DK;
  • An 8.00mm circular needle longer than 32″;
  • A wool/yarn needle for weaving in ends and scissors.

You will need to know:

The Long Tail cast on (or other stretchy cast on technique), the knit stitch, slipping stitches purlwise, binding/casting off, weaving in ends.


  • For this project you will be using a circular needle but knitting as you would on straight needles (i.e. not joining in the round). This is because the blanket will be quite large, and using circulars for big knits puts less strain on your wrists and arms. We want to be comfy when we knit, right?
  • The blanket is worked fully in garter stitch (knitting evey stitch) using three strands of yarn and we will always slip the first stitch purlwise and knit the last stitch. This leaves a clean edge.


Firstly we need to separate the cone of yarn into two. Carefully wind two 200g (or as equally sized as you can) balls of yarn from the cone and set aside. Now take your miniature 25g balls of Midget and join them all together, forming one large ball of alternating colours. You can choose how you combine the shades, but sime nice ideas could be attaching all similar colours together, going from bright to more neutral shades or just randomly going in and attaching the different shades randomly as I did.

You should now have three balls (tee hee) and now we’re ready to knit!

Squish factor: Off the scale.
  • Cast on 130 stitches onto your 8.00mm circular needles, holding all three strands together. It’s always a good idea to cast on loosely, especially if you’re a tight knitter.
  • Slip the first stitch purlwise and knit every stitch to the end of the row.
  • Follow the above instructions for all of the project, watching those gorgeous shades pop out when you least expect it and stopping when the blanket is at the right length for you. I stopped knitting when my blanket was approximately 64cm (25″) long which made it a great size for a lap or pet blanket.
  • Cast/bind off loosely, weave in ends and block if desired.

I hope you enjoyed this simple, off-the-cuff pattern! Do check out my other free patterns and turorials and feel free to share your own The Strand Blanket on Instagram by tagging me at @emmaknitty… I’d love to see what you make!

Yarn Reviews

Yarn Review · A Yarn and Colors Special

One thing the professions in teaching and the design industry (both my jobs as it happens) have in common is that planning ahead is essential. As a teacher, you are always thinking ahead regarding preparing exams, making sure that your students have the right knowledge to pass and that you haven’t missed anything out. As a designer, you simply have to plan ahead for the next season, check out what’s in and what colours will be hot, what celebrations are on the way… After all, nobody wants to be that girl hurredly knitting baubles on Christmas Eve, right?

Now that Spring is almost upon us, and as the weather (hopefully) starts getting warmer, our thoughts as makers start to turn to cooler knits and crochet items. For me, finding the ideal cotton yarn has always been a challenge, especially balls of cotton that come in trusty 100g size!

The squish is real. Pictured: Yarn and Colors Super Must-Have in Lilac.

Luckily, the brilliant team over at Yarn and Colors were kind enough to send me over an AMAZING selection of their Super Must-Have cotton to make some SS ’19 goodies with and review. You can’t get more generous and thoughtful than that!

I have to say that I was totally blown away by the sheer range of colours available – from trusty neutrals to exceptionally beautiful brights – as well as the thrill of using chunky cotton yarn, something that’s quite hard to find these days. The quality was obvious at first squeeze, too and this cotton has a very pretty sheen to it thanks to it being mercerized. Result. As for the size, its chunky weight combined with its generous 3.52oz size makes for great value. Can you tell that I like this yarn?

Zingy! Pictured: Yarn and Colors Super Must-Have in Pistachio.

Project-wise, the possibilities are endless. This yarn would be great to make a gorgeous summer top with, but you know me, homeware is my bag and I can totally see it worked up as a giant floor cushion, an armful of durable tea towels or some summery placemats.

The name says it all: Super Must-Have? Absolutely!

Knitting pattern · Yarn Reviews

Yarn Review · Hobbii Christmas Special


(This post is kindly sponsored by Hobbii who provided yarn support)

Don’t say it too loudly, but there’s less than a month to go until Christmas Day. That means Christmas shopping is becoming a serious possibility in the next few days, not to mention putting the tree up, decorating the house and – sorry – having to put up with piped ”festive” music in every supermarket. Altogether now, “WELL I WISH IT COULD BE CHRISTMAS EVERY DAYYYYYY!” Do you hate me yet?

I’m a bit of a grinch to be honest (as in, I hate it when shops start putting Christmas trees everywhere in, like, October) but I do love the build up to Christmas at home and all the cosy, hygge elements that go with it. I think that being a crafter and loving everything Scandi really helps with that. Speaking of Scandi, I’m waffling, because what I’m really here to do is talk about the second collaboration I’ve done with my friends at Hobbii over in Denmark!

I really enjoyed working with them the first time around, so it’s been such a joy to design a truly special project and pattern using some of their beautiful 100% wool yarns.

Christmas Morning Slipper Socks. Poms optional, adorable knees essential.

Those of you who follow me over on Instagram will already know that I’m totally addicted to Fair Isle knitting and love nothing more than designing colourwork on graph paper. You’ll also know that I am scared of knitting socks. The idea of turning a heel and all that jazz fills me with dread and, although I’m sure it’ll be something I’ll learn eventually, I’m putting it off. That’s why it’s so good that tube socks exist!

The idea behind this pattern and collab was to design and make some heavier non-slip  slipper socks that are simple enough for advanced beginner knitters to work up as a ‘My First Fair Isle Project’ and fun for experienced knitters who want a quick festive make. Plus, these colours are so painfully on-trend that you will definitely be the snazziest person around the Christmas tree FYI.

For this project I chose Hobbii’s lovely DKs ‘Simple Wool’ and Mayflower ‘Easy Care’ which have some of the lushest colour options on the market. Seriously, I’m still drooling over that mustard and pink! Working up these yarns was a total dream as well, with the silky texture sliding effortlessly as you work, making these yarns ideal for colourwork. The quality speaks for itself.

So, I’m really pleased to share this free pattern with you all just in time for Christmas prep! They are a quick and fabulous knit that will exercise your Fair Isle skills as well as being an ideal “TV knit” – exciting enough to keep your attention but relaxing enough to be an ideal Netflix & Knit companion.

Hobbii’s ‘Simple Wool’ combined with Mayflower ‘Easy Care’ to create some truly amazing colour combinations. Check out the ‘Extras’ page to download some of my colour charts designed especially for this project.

Christmas Morning Slipper Socks

You will need:

  • One pair of 9″ circular needles OR 32″ or above circular needles for magic loop in size 2.00mm for cuff.
  • One pair 32″ circular needles for magic loop in size 4.00mm OR DPNs for body and toe decreases. You can also use a 9″ circular needle for the body section, but change to DPNs or the magic loop when decreasing for the toe section.
  • Three stitch markers, one in a different style.
  • Three balls (150g) of different colour DK weight superwash wool or wool blend yarn (I used Hobbii Happy Sheep Simple Wool in ‘Curry’ and ‘White’ and Mayflower Easy Care in ‘Cerise’)
  • One or two Fair Isle charts that you can download here.
  • Scissors, darning needle, Rico Sock Stop Latex (optional).

Level & Skills:

Advanced Beginner

You’ll need to know how to: work the long tail cast on, invisible join in the round, knit, purl, follow a Fair Isle chart, k2tog (knit two stitches together) decrease, weave in ends.

Sizes: Toddler (Child, Ladies S, M, L).  Toddler (age 2-3 – 10″ long), Child (age 3-5 – 14″ long), S (EUR sizes 35-37 – 16″ long), M (EUR sizes 37-39 – 17″ long), L (EUR size 39-41 – 18″ long).

Notes: If you find the cuff to be a bit snug around your calf, feel free to move up half a needle size until the cuff fits comfortably.

This pattern is written using inches and UK terminology.

Method (make two):

  • Using the 2.00mm needles, cast on 28 (32, 40, 44, 48) stitches (plus one extra stitch to form the invisible join) using your choice of colour one. Join in the round and place a marker to indicate the beginning of the round. Make sure this marker is different to the other markers you will use later on (a different colour, style…)
  • Knit one stitch, purl one stitch to the end of each round for 1″.
  • Change to 4.00mm needles and knit two rounds plain (knit every stitch around).
  • Using one of the supplied charts, follow the chart for the specified amount of rounds.
  • Once you’ve completed the colour chart, knit every stitch around until your piece measures 9″ (12″, 14″,  15″ 16″). Now you can change to a constrasting colour for the toe section, or stick with the same colour if you prefer.

Toe decreases:

Now you’re going to shape and decrease the toe. If you’ve been using a 9″ 4.00mm needle for the sock so far, change over to 32″ or longer needles to use the magic loop method, or DPNs.

Let’s find the halfway point of your sock. Place a marker after 14 (16, 20, 22, 24) stitches.

Now we are going to work the decreases as follows:

Each decrease round is worked as follows for all sizes: From beginning of round, k2tog, knit until three stitches before next marker, k2tog, knit 1, slip marker, k2tog, knit until three stitches before marker, k2tog, knit one* to end.

2. Between each decrease round, knit one round plain (knitting every stitch).

Follow the following method until 10 or fewer stitches remain on your needles. Break yarn and thread through the live stitches, pulling tight to close the hole. Thread through these stitches again a couple of times to secure, then weave in your ends carefully.

Wet block the socks and lay flat to dry. You can also steam block them if you prefer.

Optional: To make your slipper socks safer to wear – especialy for kids – apply some evenly spaced drops of Sock Stop on the sole. For each size, the foot measures approximately 4.5″ (5″, 7″, 8″, 9″) from the tip of the toe, so this will show you how far up the sock to apply the product.

That’s it – you’re done! Don’t forget to share your socks using the hashtag #emmaknitty over on Instagram so I can check out your wonderful makes!

Article · Yarn Reviews

Yarn Review · Hobbii Yarn Special

Hobbii – Twister in Light Elegance (21)
YARN INFO: Weight: DK/Light Worsted – Needle/Hook: 3.0 mm (US 3) – 4.0 mm (US 6) – Composition: 50% cotton/50% acrylic– Ball Weight: 250 g (8.8 oz) – Yarn Length: 1000 m (1,094 yds) – Tension: 26 stitches, 36 rows to 10 cm/4″
Hobbii Rainbow 8/8 Organic Cotton in White (001)
YARN INFO: Weight: DK – Needle/Hook: 3.5 mm (US 4) – 4.0 mm (US 6) – Composition: 100% Organic Cotton – Ball Weight: 50 g (1.8 oz) – Yarn Length: 75 m (82 yds) – Tension: 20 stitches, 24 rows to 10 cm/4″

What springs to mind when you hear the word “Denmark”?

Cakes? Cold weather? Ham? Vikings? The Little Mermaid? Me, all of those, plus the stunning city of Copenhagen that I was lucky enough to visit a few years ago. Copenhagen is a beautiful place, full of characteristic, colourful buildings (check out Gammel Strand for some serious architecture envy and excellent bars), bicycles, friendly and happy people, plus some of nicest and well-kept parks I’ve ever seen… Sigh. We were tempted to relocate, actually, but it was a bit too expensive, so we shuffled off back to Spain, full of cake and €10 pints of ale, or øl.

This isn’t actually a tourism plug for Visit Denmark, but a couple of yarns reviews for my newest obsession, the Danish yarn brand Hobbii!


Funnily enough, this lovely company is based in Copenhagen, and offer a superb variety of yarns for all tastes, most of which are completely natural or seriously high-quality blends. They also stock a huge array of accessories that will make any knitter or crocheter drool, plus an incredibly quick delivery time. My yarn took 3 days to arrive from Denmark to Spain, and that’s fast.

Hobbii very kindly sent me some yarn to try out, and given that the weather has been warm recently, I chose some organic cotton (Rainbow Cotton 8/8) and a very pretty cotton blend (Twister) that comes in a very generously-sized cake.

Let’s start with the organic cotton first. I’m a sucker for high-quality cotton, and these 50g balls really kick other cottons I’ve tried to the kerb; soft, durable, easy to work with and versatile, you don’t get that annoying ‘splitting’ of the plies like with some cottons on the market, plus the organic-ness (is this a word?) makes you feel good whilst crafting.

I used this cotton held double with Twister to add an almost heathered effect on the skirt of this little dress I designed to great effect.


All in all, this will be my go-to cotton yarn from now on. I’m sold!

As for Twister, this was my first time using a yarn cake with variegated colours, so I was excited to choose this gorgeous colourway (Light Elegance 21), a feminine blend of greys, rose, burgundy, pink and light pink, ingeniously twined together for a smooth experience. I started using the cake by crocheting from the inside-out, which meant the bodice of the dress started with a stunning rose-burgundy shade, moving out to rose-burgundy-pink then to pink… Drool. If ombré is your thing, you’ll love this yarn. This yarn is a thin DK, but sturdy and soft. Even though it’s a blend, you cannot tell that there is any acrylic content – that’s the sign of a high quality yarn.


Hobbii, you’re my new bestie!

The Positives:

  • Soft, high-quality yarns.
  • No knots in Rainbow 8/8, a few tiny but invisible knots in Twister. Good job.
  • Unbeatable value.
  • Awesome ball band designs.
  • Large colour palettes. Superb colour transitions.

The Negatives:

  • Literally none, and I always find a negative!

Are you a fellow indie-dyer or yarn brand who’d like me to review your yarns for free? Drop me a line and we can have a chinwag…

Yarn Reviews

Yarn Review: Millamia Naturally Soft Super Chunky

YARN INFO: Weight: Super Chunky – Needle/Hook: 10.00mm (US 15) – Composition: 100% Merino Wool – Ball Weight: 100g (3.5oz) – Yarn Length: 50m (55yds) – Tension: 8 stitches, 12 rows to 10cm/4″ .

I don’t like summer, I’m just going to put that out there. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy longer evenings, having a glass of wine (or seven) in a beer garden with friends, all of that, but I really can’t stand the heat. Yes, I am aware that I’m in the minority here.

Luckily, we now live in a part of Spain where the temperatures rarely get higher than 25º in the summer months. We lived for four years in the hottest city in Spain – Córdoba – where temperatures exceeding 40° are the absolute norm, so it’s nice to be somewhere fresher now. A sunny Spanish city with 40° probably sounds nice in theory if you’re marching through sheets of rain at 7.30am on the way to work in Ipswich, but trust me when I say that working in it, being pregnant in it and putting one foot in front of the other in those kind of temperatures is not the same as lying on a beach. God, I really should write a seperate blog entry about all that one day…

Anyways, I’m digressing, because what I really want to do here is review some stunning yarn I was kindly sent to review a few months ago. On a little rummage around my stash the other day I came across these two balls of  MillaMia Naturally Soft Super Chunky, 100g of fine 100% merino wool. Even though it’s been tropical outside, I’ve been dying to knit something chunky out of wool, and these was the perfect choice of yarn to get started on some early winter knits. I always make a new hat every winter for Alex, and now she’s old enough to have her own colour preferences (pink, pink and even more bloody pink), the wonderful shade “Sugar Pink (413)” was ideal. I threw a curveball in and added some cute Fair Isle scallops by combining it with the second sample shade of “Katarina Blue (412)” to add interest. I have to admit that I don’t normally like combining pastels as they can make the project look a bit washed out, but these two look really good together.

To touch, this yarn is unbeatable. Powder soft, bouncy, full and with incredible stitch definition, it really is the ideal chunky winter wool. I’m impressed with their colour selection, too. If you’re like me and obsess over greys and modern brights, you won’t be disappointed. To boot, the 100g (50m) ball weight is generous and more than enough to create a kid’s hat or scarf, with a ball-and-a-half being all you need to work up an adult sized hat, pom-pom included.

However, here’s the crappy bit. I must tell you that I wasn’t best pleased to see a few knots in the ball, including a huuuuuge one right at the beginning of the ball of “Katarina Blue (412)“. If you’re spending €2 on a big ball of acrylic this is to be expected (although it’s yet to happen to me with the better acrylic brands), but if you’re paying into double-figures for a luxury yarn, it’s disappointing to say the least. Hmm. If I’d paid for this instead of it being a sample I’d have left a bad review.

Fancy a fabulous project to use with this yarn? Check out my pattern for the Cloud Friends Hat, a cute, quick and fun knit for kids age 4-6 years and adults.

The Positives:

  • Knits up quickly.
  • So soft! It’s incredible!
  • It would make a beautiful yarn gift for a fellow maker.
  • Pretty ball band.
  • Small but varied colour palette.

The Negatives:

  • There were a few knots. Not so good for the price. Bleh!
  • At over €11/£9 a ball, it’s pricey and would be quite expensive to make a larger item (cardie or jumper) using this wool if you’re watching your pennies.

You can check out other yarn reviews by following my “Yarn Reviews” tag.